Bikers face smartphone ban if Dutch transport min. wins vote

bicycles (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/AgainErick)bicycles (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/AgainErick)

Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure is working on a law that will ban the use of a smartphone while cycling. That means no more texting or calling from your bike, a spokesperson for the Ministry confirmed to newspaper AD on Monday. 

Last year Schultz still told the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, that there will be no ban on cellphone use on bicycles as it would be too difficult to enforce. But earlier this year she decided to research whether such a ban is feasible after all. In another letter to the Kamer, Schultz now writes that the experts that looked into the problem concluded that using a touch screen while cycling produces a massive risk. The Minister therefore also wants to ban the use of smartphones in a holder on the handlebar. 

At this stage it is not yet clear how high the fine will be for violating the smartphone ban. 

Figures Statistics Netherlands released on Monday show that 185 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents last year, about the same number as in previous years.